Cole Caufield Scouting Report: 2019 NHL Draft #16

Cole Caufield
ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 19: Team Leopold forward Cole Caufield (14) skates to the bench during the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game between Team Leopold and Team Langenbrunner on September 19, 2018, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Team Leopold defeated Team Langenbrunner 6-4. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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A diminutive but talented winger, Cole Caufield has put up 58 goals and 82 points in 57 games this year for the US National Team Development Program Under-18 squad. Caufield set a new record for all-time goals by a USNTDP player. He was another one of the members of the Under-17 squad that won the gold medal at the World Hockey Challenge. He scored eight goals, leading the tournament, and 13 points in just six games. Caufield was also named to the tournament all-star team. Shortly after that, he was called up to the under-18 squad for the stretch run and the IIHF U-18 World Championship. At last year’s Under-18, he put up four goals and six points in seven games and took home a silver medal. Caufield and his US NTDP teammates are currently preparing for the 2019 tournament.

Caufield, a Wisconsin native, is committed to attend the University of Wisconsin and play for the Badgers next season. His older brother, Brock Caufield, scored 12 points in 37 games as a freshman with Wisconsin this year. Should he change his mind and opt for the CHL route, his rights are owned by the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. His father, Paul Caufield, played a few games in the Central Hockey League and the ECHL following his college hockey career.

Cole Caufield Scouting Report

Left Wing — shoots Right
Born January 2nd, 2001 — Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Height 5’7″ — Weight 157 [170 cm/71 kg]

Skating

Caufield is a very good skater. While he has very good top end speed, his best attributes are his acceleration and agility. Caufield can dart in and out of open space quickly. He changes speeds and fools defenders as a result. He uses his edges very well and moves laterally with ease. This helps him to beat defenders in one-on-one situations, both with and without the puck. As mentioned Caufield lacks size. However, he has a very strong lower body and powerful stride. This gives him excellent balance and he is tough to knock off the puck or beat in battles in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Caufield has an excellent arsenal of shots. His wrist shot and snapshot are both deadly accurate and have good power. They also have very quick releases which fool goaltenders. Caufield also has a very good one-timer. He has a knack for finding soft spots in the defence and getting his shot off. Caufield can even score on his backhand. He is not afraid to battle in the dirty areas of the ice and goes hard to the net. When he is there, he can score on rebounds and deflections due to his soft hands and excellent coordination.

He also shows the ability to make passes through tight spaces and the vision to find teammates but is better known for his goal scoring. Caufield can show flashes of brilliance as a playmaker though. He also controls the puck well, even when moving at top speed. He can get by a defender with a quick fake or toe-drag. Overall, he has all the offensive tools one looks for in a player, with the exception being his lack of height.

Defensive Game

Caufield’s quickness and anticipation have helped him in the defensive end. He is very good at intercepting passes and creating turnovers. Once these happen he transitions quickly to offence. This has made him an effective penalty killer and a threat to score short handed. However, his lack of size has had a bigger effect in his five-on-five defensive game. He does not really do well in supporting the defence down low as he has a tough time containing bigger opponents in the cycle game.

Projection and Comparison

With more and more diminutive NHLers succeeding in the modern game, there is hope that Caufield’s immense offensive talent will help him to be the next success story. Teams are still intrigued by size but there is more room for a talented but short player to get a chance. Caufield has enough offensive skill that with the proper development he can become a top-line sniper despite his size. He could be a real boom or bust type of pick. Caufield’s game is reminiscent of Alex DeBrincat, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Cole Caufield that are available on youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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